Restaurants & Bars 2

Unagi day in Tokyo

Andy P. | Jul 20, 200202:27 AM

Hi all,

Today, July 20th, is "unagi day" in Japan. From what I could gather from my Japanese co-workers, unagi day is held on the penultimate Saturday of July, which traditionally marks the end of rainy season, and the beginning of damn-it's-hot-and-humid season.

Unagi (grilled fresh-water eel) is consumed on this day, with the belief that it will fill the person eating it with the stamina needed to make it through the rest of the oppressive summer.

After a grueling half day at my office in Minami-Shinagawa, I was walking back up to Aomono-yokocho station, and passed Muramoto's unagi shop.

This is a little hole-in-the-wall place, seating about 10 people, and all they do is unagi, and unagi bentos.

I pass this place just about every evening, and being teased by the smoke from the grilling eel, keep meaning to stop in. It has just never happened, until today.

No sit down service on this Saturday, just take-out. So I picked up my bento (3 large pieces of unagi, on a bed of rice, with a side of thickly sliced daikon) and am just now finishing it up, as I write this.

This is some darn fine eel! Sweet, firm, and succulent. The slightly sweet soy-mirin sauce that it is dipped in is just right, complimenting the unagi, without overpowering it. The outer skin is charred up nice and crispy, and besides the sauce, the only other thing on it is a light dusting of pepper.

Washing it all down with a cold Pocari Sweat, I'm ready to take on the summer.

I didn't get an address, but Muramoto's is a nice, easy 8-iron from Aomono-yokocho station. As you leave the station, take a right when you get to the sidewalk, and start sauntering. Walk across the crosswalk at the next signal, and Muramoto's is just past the gas station at that corner.

Yoroshiku onegai itashimasu,

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